But for now, let's get to Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden. some 4 1/2 to 5 hours north and east of Jönköping. By bus anyway. Which is the way we travelled. It was a very comfortable bus.Here are Lukas (sitting with his Aunt Maria (alternately Mia and Mimi), partially pictured) and Mikah and Tina. When we arrived in Stockholm, we made our way by subway to the southern part of the town to our hotel, Formule 1. The most inexpensive hotel, but very small, which isn't a problem because you learn to make due when travelling, except that there can only be three people to a room, two adults and one child, which was a problem for us since we're two adults and two children. We worked it out because we were travelling with three other adults, and between us all, we got it worked out. Oh, and if you don't much care for sharing showers and toilets with the rest of the folks on your floor, then this place ain't for you. Again, you make due, and we did. I'd stay there on my next trip. No problem.
On our first full day there, we decided to go catch some of the sights. On the way there, Lukas, a military buff even at his age just had to have his photo taken in front of this British ship. Funny thing, the Swedish Coast Guard was out en force. Why, we don't exactly know, but it was fun to see this monster ship being kept watch over by the Swedes.
Then came a short ferry trip over to a museum for a ship that sunk in the harbor on its maiden voyage back in the 1650s. Something to do with not enough ballast. But in the 1950s, archeologist/shipwreck specialist Anders Franzén located the Vasa, the sunken warship, and after years of labor, in 1961 the ship again found the light of day. For a walk through the history of the ship, its recovery, and its continued conservation, visit http://www.vasamuseet.se/.
This is the museum from the ferry. It's actually a pretty large space because the ship itself is completely in tact and housed herein. Now, the lighting inside is conservation-friendly but not so digital camera-friendly, so we didn't get that many blog-worthwhile shots. For those, Google pictures of the Vasa ship, or simply visit the site above.
Lukas in front of a replica, obviously not to scale, for those of you wondering. Even so, this model is cool.
Among the few parts of the ship on display that are not entirely original are all things rope. The Baltic was just not kind to the hemp.
The artwork all along the sides, the front, and the back of the ship is just that, artwork, and all of it serves to tell the story of Sweden and King Gustav Vasa, who commissioned the ship.
Between the two ships, you'll see Lukas. This is a model of a battle between the Swedes and the Danes. Sorry, I don't have the history of this display, but look it up yourself if you're that interested. I gave you the museum's website address after all.
This picture is not of me after all the eating I've done, Leslie Reed. It is of two of the biggest pigs I've ever seen. They're kept on a natural park/zoo/museum called Skansen, much like Lubbock's own Ranching Heritage Museum in that there are buildings that span the nation's history. They also keep many of the native animals and flora. I'll write more tomorrow. But I wanted to tease you with this shot. There'll be more animals, including a three-day-old moose, bear cubs, a peacock that nearly scared Lukas out of his shoes, and more. So come back.